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      Finding Novel Antibiotic Substances from Medicinal Plants – Antimicrobial Properties of Nigella Sativa Directed against Multidrug-resistant Bacteria

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          Abstract

          The progressive rise in multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacterial strains poses serious problems in the treatment of infectious diseases. While the number of newly developed antimicrobial compounds has greatly fallen, the resistance of pathogens against commonly prescribed drugs is further increasing. This rise in resistance illustrates the need for developing novel therapeutic and preventive antimicrobial options. The medicinal herb Nigella sativa and its derivatives constitute promising candidates. In a comprehensive literature survey (using the PubMed data base), we searched for publications on the antimicrobial effects of N. sativa particularly directed against MDR bacterial strains. In vitro studies published between 2000 and 2015 revealed that N. sativa exerted potent antibacterial effects against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative species including resistant strains. For instance, N. sativa inhibited the growth of bacteria causing significant gastrointestinal morbidity such as Salmonella, Helicobacter pylori, and Escherichia coli. However, Listeria monocytogenes and Pseudomonas aeruginosa displayed resistance against black cumin seed extracts. In conclusion, our literature survey revealed potent antimicrobial properties of N. sativa against MDR strains in vitro that should be further investigated in order to develop novel therapeutic perspectives for combating infectious diseases particularly caused by MDR strains.

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          Most cited references 35

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          Antioxidant activity of Nigella sativa essential oil.

           F Bucar,  M Burits (2000)
          The essential oil of black cumin seeds, Nigella sativa L., was tested for a possible antioxidant activity. A rapid evaluation for antioxidants, using two TLC screening methods, showed that thymoquinone and the components carvacrol, t-anethole and 4-terpineol demonstrated respectable radical scavenging property. These four constituents and the essential oil possessed variable antioxidant activity when tested in the diphenylpicrylhydracyl assay for non-specific hydrogen atom or electron donating activity. They were also effective.OH radical scavenging agents in the assay for non-enzymatic lipid peroxidation in liposomes and the deoxyribose degradation assay. GC-MS analysis of the essential oil obtained from six different samples of Nigella sativa seeds and from a commercial fixed oil showed that the qualitative composition of the volatile compounds was almost identical. Differences were mainly restricted to the quantitative composition. Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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            Efficacy, safety, quality control, marketing and regulatory guidelines for herbal medicines (phytotherapeutic agents)

             J.B. Calixto (2000)
            This review highlights the current advances in knowledge about the safety, efficacy, quality control, marketing and regulatory aspects of botanical medicines. Phytotherapeutic agents are standardized herbal preparations consisting of complex mixtures of one or more plants which contain as active ingredients plant parts or plant material in the crude or processed state. A marked growth in the worldwide phytotherapeutic market has occurred over the last 15 years. For the European and USA markets alone, this will reach about $7 billion and $5 billion per annum, respectively, in 1999, and has thus attracted the interest of most large pharmaceutical companies. Insufficient data exist for most plants to guarantee their quality, efficacy and safety. The idea that herbal drugs are safe and free from side effects is false. Plants contain hundreds of constituents and some of them are very toxic, such as the most cytotoxic anti-cancer plant-derived drugs, digitalis and the pyrrolizidine alkaloids, etc. However, the adverse effects of phytotherapeutic agents are less frequent compared with synthetic drugs, but well-controlled clinical trials have now confirmed that such effects really exist. Several regulatory models for herbal medicines are currently available including prescription drugs, over-the-counter substances, traditional medicines and dietary supplements. Harmonization and improvement in the processes of regulation is needed, and the general tendency is to perpetuate the German Commission E experience, which combines scientific studies and traditional knowledge (monographs). Finally, the trend in the domestication, production and biotechnological studies and genetic improvement of medicinal plants, instead of the use of plants harvested in the wild, will offer great advantages, since it will be possible to obtain uniform and high quality raw materials which are fundamental to the efficacy and safety of herbal drugs.
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              Pharmacological and toxicological properties of Nigella sativa.

              The seeds of Nigella sativa Linn. (Ranunculaceae), commonly known as black seed or black cumin, are used in folk (herbal) medicine all over the world for the treatment and prevention of a number of diseases and conditions that include asthma, diarrhoea and dyslipidaemia. This article reviews the main reports of the pharmacological and toxicological properties of N. sativa and its constituents. The seeds contain both fixed and essential oils, proteins, alkaloids and saponin. Much of the biological activity of the seeds has been shown to be due to thymoquinone, the major component of the essential oil, but which is also present in the fi ed oil. The pharmacological actions of the crude extracts of the seeds (and some of its active constituents, e.g. volatile oil and thymoquinone) that have been reported include protection against nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity induced by either disease or chemicals. The seeds/oil have antiinflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, antimicrobial and antineoplastic activity. The oil decreases blood pressure and increases respiration. Treatment of rats with the seed extract for up to 12 weeks has been reported to induce changes in the haemogram that include an increase in both the packed cell volume (PCV) and haemoglobin (Hb), and a decrease in plasma concentrations of cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose. The seeds are characterized by a very low degree of toxicity. Two cases of contact dermatitis in two individuals have been reported following topical use. Administration of either the seed extract or its oil has been shown not to induce significant adverse effects on liver or kidney functions. It would appear that the beneficial effects of the use of the seeds and thymoquinone might be related to their cytoprotective and antioxidant actions, and to their effect on some mediators of inflammation. Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Eur J Microbiol Immunol (Bp)
                Eur J Microbiol Immunol (Bp)
                EUJMI
                European Journal of Microbiology & Immunology
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                2062-509X
                2062-8633
                16 March 2017
                March 2017
                : 7
                : 1
                : 92-98
                Affiliations
                Department of Microbiology and Hygiene, Charité – University Medicine Berlin , Berlin, Germany
                Author notes
                * Charité – University Medicine Berlin, CC5, Department of Microbiology and Hygiene, Campus Benjamin Franklin, FEM, Garystr. 5, D-14195 Berlin, Germany; +49-30-450524318; markus.heimesaat@ 123456charite.de

                Conflict of interest

                Stefan Bereswill and Markus M. Heimesaat are Editorial Board members.

                Article
                10.1556/1886.2017.00001
                5372484
                © 2017, The Author(s)

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 28, Pages: 7
                Funding
                Funding sources: There has been no source of funding.
                Categories
                Original Article

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